Many businesses balk at the idea of letting employees access company data on personal computing devices. But one group is actually recommending the practice as a way to save money.
The National Association of State CIOs (NASCIO) is encouraging cash-strapped state governments to rethink their bans on using personal smartphones and other devices for work purposes.
As the thinking goes, employees want to work on their personal devices anyway, and many states don’t have room in the budget to buy smartphones for users. So they can get a productivity for a minimal cost by letting those personal devices onto the network.
Many states are already heeding that advice. Almost half (14 out of 36) of the states surveyed by NASCIO said they already allow employees to do this. If this proves effective, other companies may follow suit.
Of course, there’s one thing standing in the way: security. So NASCIO’s recommendation comes with a caveat — make sure personal devices are secure before giving them access to data by taking these steps:
- Have IT approve devices before they’re given network access — some smartphones are more secure than others
- Require that personal smartphones be equipped with security features such as remote wipe, antivirus software, firewalls, password protection and encryption
- Disable unnecessary features such as Bluetooth connectivity, which could allow attackers to connect to the phone and steal data, and
- Only give users access to the parts of the network they need for their jobs.
Does your company allow employees to use personal devices for work purposes? If so, what steps have you taken to keep company data safe? Let us know in the comments section below.
Read NASCIO’s full report here.